These entrances will be decided after two pre-qualifying tournaments next month, the ZPGA Championships and another tournament yet to be confirmed.
Three of the 12 places available have already gone to the top three golfers from last year’s ZPGA Order of Merit, who are automatic qualifiers for the resurrected Open. These are Robson Saurombe, Mohammad Mandhu and Julius Kalimazeni.
Roland Vermeulen, a member of the ZPGA executive, said there would be a strong field of professionals, mostly locally-based, for the two pre-qualifying events.
“There will be 30 guys there wanting those nine slots, so it’s going to be tough,” said Vermeulen.
“We need to get our best golfers there. Remember they will be playing against European and South African golfers who already have qualification cards.”
Leading the field for the remaining places will be such men as Ryan Cairns, Darren Bismark and the ZPGA president Akil Yusouf.
Apart from the professionals who will go through qualification, there is a host of Zimbabwean golfers who are automatic qualifiers courtesy of tour cards such as Marc Cayeux’s European Tour card and several Sunshine Tour cards.
IT company Africom are the official sponsors of the tournament. Organisers are hoping to bankroll the Open to the tune of R2, 5 million.— Staff Writer.